Unlocking Freedom

Laser Frenectomies For Tongue And Lip Ties

by Dr. Macon Singletary // January - February - March 2024

When it comes to oral health, we often think about the basics: brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups. But what if I told you that a simple condition like tongue and lip ties can impact much more than just oral hygiene? These little-known issues can affect feeding, speech, and even the way our gums interact with our teeth. The reassuring news is that laser frenectomies provide a gentle and effective solution suitable for individuals of all ages. Join me as we delve into why these procedures are a true game-changer, starting from the very beginning of life.

Infant FEeding – A Crucial Starting Point

Infants struggling with feeding issues may be dealing with a tongue or lip tie. These conditions occur when the strip of skin connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is unusually tight. This can hinder a baby’s ability to latch onto the breast or bottle, causing discomfort and frustration for both baby and parent. Identifying these ties early and addressing them with a laser frenectomy can make a world of difference in a baby’s feeding journey, ensuring they receive vital nutrients and creating a stress-free experience for new parents. I have been privileged to help hundreds of patients over the years, including, most recently, my own one-month old granddaughter (pictured) who had a tongue-tie that prevented her from feeding properly prior to the procedure.

Teeth Spacing and Gum Health

You might be surprised to learn that tongue and lip ties can also have long-term effects on dental health. When these ties restrict tongue movement, it can lead to issues like gaps between teeth or gum recession, where the gums pull away from the teeth. Over time, this can impact the stability of your teeth and even increase the risk of gum disease. A laser frenectomy can release these restrictions, allowing for proper oral function and a beautiful smile.

Speech Development

Speech issues are another common consequence of tongue and lip ties. From childhood to adulthood, these conditions can hinder articulation, leading to speech impediments. Laser frenectomies provide an accessible solution to release these restrictions, improving speech clarity and boosting confidence in communication.

Taking the Ice Cream Test

Curious if you or a loved one might have a tongue or lip tie? Try the “ice cream test.” Can you comfortably lick an ice cream cone from bottom to top? If you find it challenging or impossible, this may be a sign of a restriction. While this test can give you a preliminary idea, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance on whether a laser frenectomy is needed.

Tongue and lip ties are not just small, insignificant issues; they can have far-reaching consequences. Laser frenectomies offer a minimally invasive and highly effective solution, providing relief and freedom for people of all ages. Whether it’s for infant feeding, dental health, or speech development, addressing these ties can unlock a world of possibilities and improve your overall quality of life. So, don’t let those restrictions hold you back – it’s time to break free and embrace a healthier, happier you.

Dr. Macon Singletary

DDS with North Raleigh Periodontics, located at 7805 Fiesta Way in Raleigh. Dr. Singletary is a diplomate with the American Board of Periodontology and has been improving smiles in the Raleigh area for over 25 years.